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The Morning Routine

I had a morning routine for years that looked like this: alarm goes off, feet hit floor within 2 seconds, sheets fly everywhere, heart rate accelerates from a resting pulse of about 42 BPM to low triple digits, mind stresses over all the things I am behind on already, followed by a drive like a maniac to the closest SBUX to down a bunch of caffeine….not exactly a healthy, let alone effective way, to start the day.

As with sleep, I held an attitude that I was made of steel, that normal human forces didn’t apply to me, that it actually felt ‘good’ to be tired and stressed and harried – that these were signs of progress, strength, and productivity.

Man was I ever wrong.

I am sure, not coincidentally, right around the time I cut alcohol out of my life I began to study the morning routines of people I admired and sought to emulate. While each person’s practice was slightly different, there were certain themes I customized for my own situation – the ones that really resonated with me. Here are the components of my morning ritual:

  • (While still in bed), read a list of things I am thankful for (my health, kids health, having a job, etc.). When you express gratitude you can’t help but be in the moment and in a positive frame of mind.

  • Visualize 2 or 3 key things I want to accomplish that day. There is truly a mind/body connection, and when you ‘prime the pump’ by visualizing upcoming events, encounters, etc. in a positive way, you increase the likelihood of the outcome you desire.

  • State a brief mantra, in my case acknowledging that today could be my final day on earth and that I am going to live it in a positive, loving, contributing way.

  • I then drink a glass of water and some green juice.

  • Finally, I make my bed.

  • Other techniques I practice depending on the circumstances include bouncing 100 times on a small trampoline, and taking a very cold shower. These are 2 ways to ‘turn on’ the lymphatic system.

The first few moments awake can set the tone for the day. Do you want to pursue your goals with a sense of calm and confidence or with stress-induced abandon? All the best performers act with a sense of calm and confidence, so find a routine that will help you set the appropriate tone for the day. It only takes a few minutes and the return on this time can be priceless.

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